World Bicycle Relief supporters double donations to break cycle of poverty for Malawi girls

World Bicycle Relief partners will double every donation made in July up to £150,000

Supporters of a programme which provides bikes to people in impoverished countries will double donations made in July in a bid to break the cycle of HIV and poverty affecting girls in Malawi.

World Bicycle Relief's 'Wheels in the Field' campaign will see every donation, up to £150,000, matched pound for pound by its supporters.

>>> Learn more and donate here

Backroads, citizenM Hotels, Quad Locks, and a group of generous individual supporters have put financial backing behind the project which will provide bikes for girls in a country where 46 per cent of children don't finish primary school and 42 per cent of girls are married by the age of 18.

Adolescent girls and young women in the southestern country in Africa face a disproportionate risk of acquiring HIV and often become responsible for care in the family.

World Bicycle Relief - which was founded in 2004 by SRAM founder F.K Day and documentary photographer Leah Missbach Day - distributes 70 per cent of its specially designed Buffalo bikes to young girls, and offers group based mentorship programmes.

The bikes dramatically speed up a student's journey to school - by up to 75 per cent - significantly increasing their chance of being able to continue their studies and effectively providing a hammer with which to smash the glass ceiling on educational and economical outcomes.

World Bicycle Relief's Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program has mobilised 3,100 students in Malawi since 2016 and the bikes allow the girls to access independent reproductive health counselling and services, as well as traditional school studies.

“A high-quality bicycle can have a transformational impact on students in Malawi where the average journey to school ranges from three to ten kilometres.” said World Bicycle Relief CEO Dave Neiswander.

“By utilising the bicycle to increase access to educational health programmes as well, we hope to not only improve academic performance and attendance, but to ensure bright futures for these students.”

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.